The Turkish parliament in January ratified a Turkey-Guinea military cooperation framework agreement that includes assistance in maritime security, cooperation in the defense industry, military intelligence and logistical systems, and the holding of joint exercises.
According to the text of the agreement, obtained by Nordic Monitor, Turkey will assist Guinea in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and piracy, which has increased off the west coast of Africa despite preventative measures. The agreement states in Article 4 that Turkey and Guinea will focus on “capacity building at sea and maritime security, fighting against piracy and armed robbery at sea.”
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) indicated that the Gulf of Guinea remains a hot spot for piracy, accounting for the vast majority of seagoing hostage seizures and kidnappings globally, and that 82 percent of maritime kidnappings between January-September 2019 worldwide occurred in the Gulf of Guinea. As the number of crew members kidnapped by pirates around the world decreased, the number reported in the Gulf of Guinea increased from 78 in 2018 to 121 in 2019, Deutsche Welle reported.
On July 10, 2019, 10 Turkish sailors were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, held for ransom and released a month later. The Paksoy-1 was sailing from Cameroon to Ivory Coast when the pirates boarded the ship in the Gulf of Guinea.
According to the framework agreement, Turkey and Guinea pledge to cooperate in the defense industry; military intelligence sharing; participation in joint exercises and training; logistical systems; communications, electronics and information systems; and peacekeeping and humanitarian aid operations.
The two countries have also committed themselves to focusing on military training and education, military medicine and health services, military legal systems, mapping and hydrography, the exchange of military personnel for professional development, information and experience sharing on military scientific and technological research and carrying out joint social, sportive and cultural programs.
The 19-article agreement was approved by the Turkish parliament on January 15, 2020.
The military cooperation framework agreement was signed by then-Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Mohamed Diane, the state minister at the presidency in charge of national defense, in Conakry during an official visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 3, 2016, the first-ever presidential visit paid to Guinea from Turkey.
The deal sets forth forms of cooperation such as “providing mutual logistical support and exchanging munitions, materials and services in the form of grants or with a charge”; organizing joint training courses, discussions, consultations and meetings; and carrying out joint military exercises and conducting port visits.
The full text of the military cooperation agreement is posted below:Gine_military_2
Furthermore, the deal specifies conditions for the handling of classified information generated under the agreement, detailing how it will be exchanged, used and stored. The exchange and protection of classified information and material will be carried out in a separate agreement, if deemed necessary by parties. The terms of the agreement will be executed by the General Staff of both sides.
According to Article 5, the parties agree to conclude complementary agreements and additional accords for the implementation of the deal. To this end, Guinean Defense Minister Mohamed Diane and İsmail Demir, the head of Turkey’s Defense Industry Presidency, signed an agreement on defense industry cooperation in Istanbul on May 2, 2019 that is still awaiting ratification by the Turkish parliament.
In May 2019 Diane also attended Turkey’s International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) organized by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) and met with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar,.